A misconception people have that Cricut cutters are not easy to use and not for everyone. For the most part, the misconception comes from the design software that comes with the cutter.
In this guide on how to cut cardstock on Cricut easily. Step by step, we’ll see everything that goes into designing a cardstock cutting process — starting from designing shapes in the design software to final cutting.
Some Basics of Cardstocks
Before talking about the steps to follow for cutting cardstock with a Cricut, knowing some basic facts about cardstocks and which ones to use for a specific use case will be useful. Some major cardstock features and facts are given below —
Solid Color vs White Core
Cardstocks come in 2 major variations — three-layered white in the middle and colored top and bottom, and a solid single-layered color pad. White in the middle is the cheaper variety, while solid colored pads will be expensive depending on the color.
For most of the projects, you will be fine using both types of cardstocks, but one problem with the cheaper white in the middle pad is that they show the color inside.
In projects where the paper cut will be of intricate shapes, the white will be visible and look cheap. You can cover the edges by marking them with a similar colored marker or pen to the cards’ top and bottom colors.
But if you’re not worried about expenses and want to get the right cardstock for cricut, then going for solid pads will be the best idea. They will not waste your time, unlike the white core ones, and are of much higher quality than the whites.
Cardstock numbers can be confusing. One brands’ number 80 can be thinner than anothers’ number 65 and also the other way around. So, it’s a good idea to check a few differently sized cards before deciding upon one and using it.
But a general rule is that 65 is usually the thinnest one and not perfect for Cricut cutting. They won’t last for long, and the intricate cuts will get frayed in no time. You can still use the 65s for layering or using a covering layer.
Go for anything equal to or higher than 80 points. They’re thicker and longer-lasting. If the card pad needs to be folded for your designs, then try not to go higher than 80 as the thicker the pad, the harder it is to fold.
Cricut sells good quality cardstocks alongside their cutters. They’re expensive, but you get what you pay. Their value is superior to many cardstock brands.
Clear path papers is another high-quality cardstock provider. They create beautiful smooth cardstocks that you can use for a drawing or writing layer on top of your designs.
Smooth vs Textured Cardstock
Go for a smooth cardstock if you plan to print or draw anything on the pads. Textured pads are not so good for drawing or even printing anything on them.
However, on the opposite side of the textured pads, there’s a smooth surface that you can draw or print on just as you would on a smooth card. The results will be the same, except cutting textured cards will be a little bit more time-consuming.
How to Cut Cardstock on Cricut?
Cutting a cardstock on a Cricut cutter is quite simple. You’ll have to know the steps initially. But once you do the steps for the first time, you won’t have to check back again. Here are the steps you can follow for cutting your cardstock on Cricut —
Gather Necessary Tools and Materials
You need to have these at hand:
- Cardstock of your choice. Can be of solid or 3 layered pad
- Cutting mat
- Cleaning scraper
- Marker and pen (if you want to draw)
These are the absolute most necessary items for a simple cardstock cutting project. If your project requires other fancy designs like glitters and so, you should collect them as well.
Cricut designs are easy to make with the plug and play software available with your cutter machine. You can do the designs yourself or collect them from the internet.
If you’re adventurous and don’t want to take designs from others, rather make it yourself, then you don’t have to worry. The graphical interface of the Cricut design software is very easy. There are options to choose shapes, add text and resize the layers.
In case you have ever used a design software such as Photoshop, then you’ll be at ease with using this software. This is much easier than traditional design applications and has a smooth learning curve.
Cutting Shapes onto Paper
Put the cutting mat under the Cricut cutter and place the cardstock on top of it. As you complete the design, the cutter will start cutting accordingly on the paper with its cutting pen.
After the design is cut completely, take the cutting pad along with the cardstock. Slowly take out the cardstock from the rubber mat. Don’t take the mat off forcefully, as it might tear the paper up. Take it slowly by bending the mat.
The bending will help you avoid any unintended curling or frills from the design and protect the final shape. You can now remove the excess paper from the mat and repeat the process until your designs are complete.
Starting out with a new thing like cutting cardstock can seem daunting at first. The more you explore with other card varieties and create advanced designs, the more you’ll start to enjoy the simplicity of a Cricut cutting process.
In this guide, we have talked about only a few simple cards and tactics. There are hundreds of card options available on the market. As you become experienced with the simple cardstocks, you’ll be able to choose from the advanced varieties.